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Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2010 Jan;104(1):79-85. doi: 10.1016/j.anai.2009.11.010.

Allergen immunotherapy and health care cost benefits for children with allergic rhinitis: a large-scale, retrospective, matched cohort study.

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BioMedEcon LLC, Moss Beach, California 94038, USA.



Children with allergic rhinitis (AR) often experience significant impairment in quality of life and health, which increases health care utilization.


To determine whether allergen immunotherapy reduces health care utilization and costs in children newly diagnosed as having AR using a retrospective matched cohort design.


Among children (age <18 years) with a Florida Medicaid paid claim between 1997 and 2007, immunotherapy-treated patients were selected who had newly diagnosed AR, who had not received immunotherapy before their first (index) AR diagnosis, who had received at least 2 immunotherapy administrations after their index AR diagnosis, and who had at least 18 months of data after their first immunotherapy administration. A control group of patients with newly diagnosed AR who had not received immunotherapy either before or subsequent to their index AR diagnosis also were identified, and up to 5 were matched with each immunotherapy-treated patient by age at first AR diagnosis, sex, race/ethnicity, and diagnosis of asthma, conjunctivitis, or atopic dermatitis.


Immunotherapy-treated patients had significantly lower 18-month median per-patient total health care costs ($3,247 vs $4,872), outpatient costs exclusive of immunotherapy-related care ($1,107 vs $2,626), and pharmacy costs ($1,108 vs $1,316) compared with matched controls (P < .001 for all). The significant difference in total health care costs was evident 3 months after initiating immunotherapy and increased through study end.


This study demonstrates the potential for early and significant cost savings in children with AR treated with immunotherapy. Greater use of this treatment in children could significantly reduce AR-related morbidity and its economic burden.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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